Boundless Journeys, and Karen Cleary in particular, made possible a very special New England experience for Botswana Explorations private guide Brooks Kamanakao and his brother, Machine…
Brooks and Machine arrived in Burlington, Vermont last Wednesday evening, accompanied by Karen’s loyal client, Pat Cairns (who was surprised upon arrival by her sister, Barbara Bales, who flew in from Texas). Pat and Barbara have travelled with Brooks in Botswana a number of times, and his impact on their lives honestly can’t be overstated. As a school principal in California, Pat was particularly moved upon visiting Brooks’ brother’s school in Maun a handful of years ago. This led to the establishment of the Botswana School Project.
Last spring, on another trip to Botswana, Pat and Barbara discussed with the school in Maun that they would like to sponsor a teacher to come to the US later in the year and experience how schools operate here, and to hopefully come home with some ideas to share within their own community. They removed themselves from the selection process, and in the end, Brooks’ brother, Machine, was selected to be the sponsored teacher. Thus the trip they are on now.
Speaking with Pat a few weeks ago, and hearing more about the plans for the upcoming trip, Karen suggested to her it would be fun if Brooks and Machine could make a side trip to Vermont. Matt purchased their tickets from California, and the rest of the trip is history!
On their first evening they were quite jetlagged but already appreciating the beauty of Vermont at this time of year. They spent Thursday with a local politician friend of Pat’s, touring the Vermont State House in Montpelier, and visiting a local maple sugaring operation. On Friday, they came to the Boundless Journeys office where they spent a few hours. Karen then got to play Vermont safari guide and took them for a foliage drive up the historic toll road to the top of Mount Mansfield (where you’ll see them standing on the precipice of the steepest trail on the mountain), over Smuggler’s Notch, to her kids’ school in Morrisville where they watched a Grade 6-7-8 soccer match for a little while (and they got to meet her family), ending with a drive through Sterling Valley where they were able to check out a covered bridge – a New England icon. All this topped off by the rising of a Harvest Moon!
Saturday was a day of independent exploration before the brothers boarded a plane on Sunday morning to head back to California.
Written by Craig Glatthaar